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Arts & Culture

FINDING YOUR ROOTS: Slave Trade

Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., executive producer, host and writer of FINDING YOUR ROOTS.
Courtesy of Stephanie Berger
Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., executive producer, host and writer of FINDING YOUR ROOTS.

Airs Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS TV + Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. on KPBS 2

On this episode, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. journeys with film director Ava DuVernay, actor S. Epatha Merkerson, and musician Questlove, to the unexpected places where their ancestors were scattered by slavery, upending their notions of African American history.

ABOUT SEASON 6:

Season 6 will span Oct. 2019 to Oct. 2020 with 2 new episodes premiering in Oct. 2019, 8 episodes beginning in Jan. 2020, and 6 episodes premiering in fall 2020.

This Season features 27 fascinating new guests who are game-changers in their fields, with family histories that illustrate the power and diversity of the human experience.

Among them are actors Jeffrey Wright, Sigourney Weaver, Melissa McCarthy and Sterling K. Brown; groundbreaking director Jordan Peele, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; acclaimed journalists Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell; musicians Queen Latifah and Jon Batiste; legendary fashion designers Diane von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez and Zac Posen; as well as a host of other luminaries, including Jeff Goldblum, Anjelica Huston, Isabella Rossellini, Terry Gross, Marc Maron, Eric Stonestreet, Issa Rae, Amy Ryan and Justina Machado.

Some of the guests whose stories we will revisit this season include actors Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore and Marisa Tomei; journalist Lisa Ling; radio talk show host Joe Madison; musician Questlove; and late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel.

In sharing their stories, FINDING YOUR ROOTS uses every tool available, from cutting-edge DNA research to old-school genealogical sleuthing, to reveal long-buried secrets.

Spanning the globe, the series compiles family trees that trace throughout the United States and Canada; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Germany, Poland, Ireland, Russia and more.

Episode to episode, audiences will meet guests’ ancestors who were businesspeople and bootleggers, war heroes and criminals, farmers and immigrants, the persecuted and the persevering under the most extraordinary circumstances.

Together, the arc of each guest’s family personalizes history while emphasizing the human connections that unite us.

EPISODE GUIDE:

OCT. 8, 2019

“Hollywood Royalty” with Isabella Rossellini, Anjelica Huston, Mia Farrow

OCT. 15, 2019

“Off the Farm” with Melissa McCarthy, Eric Stonestreet

MORE 2020 EPISODES

“Homecomings” with Sterling K. Brown, Jon Batiste, Sasheer Zamata

“This Land is My Land” with Queen Latifah, Jeffrey Wright

“Beyond the Pale” with Terry Gross, Marc Maron, Jeff Goldblum

“Secrets And Lies” with Sigourney Weaver, Amy Ryan, Justina Machado

“Science Pioneers” with Harold Varmus, Francis Collins, Shirley Jackson

“Slave Trade” with Questlove, S. Epatha Merkerson, Ava DuVernay

• “Italian Roots” with Marisa Tomei, Jimmy Kimmel, John Turturro

• “Criminal Mind” with Laura Linney, Lisa Ling, Soledad O’Brien

• “Fashion’s Roots” with Diane Von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez, RuPaul

• “Breaking the Silences” with Gayle King, Jordan Peele, Issa Rae

• “DNA Mysteries” with Ann Curry, Téa Leoni, Joe Madison

• “War Stories” with Kehinde Wiley, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader

• “Flight” with Lupita Nyong’o, Lidia Bastianich, Scarlett Johannsson

• “Coming to America” with Nancy Pelosi, Norah O’Donnell, Zac Posen

WATCH ON YOUR SCHEDULE:

With the PBS Video App, you can stream your favorite and local station shows. Download it for free on your favorite device. The app allows you to catch up on recent episodes and discover award-winning shows.

This episode will be available to stream on demand for a limited time after broadcast.

Seasons 2-5 are available to stream on demend with KPBS Passport, video streaming for members supporting KPBS at $60 or more yearly, using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn more and activate your benefit now.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION:

Explore and share your family histories via social media, using the hashtag #FindingYourRoots.

FINDING YOUR ROOTS is on Facebook. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is on Facebook, Instagram, and you can follow @HenryLouisGates on Twitter.

CREDITS:

A production of McGee Media, Inkwell Films, Kunhardt Films and WETA Washington, D.C., in association with Ark Media. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the writer, host, and executive producer. Dyllan McGee and Peter Kunhardt are executive producers. Dalton Delan and John F. Wilson are executive producers in charge for WETA. Bill Gardner is the executive in charge for PBS. Sabin Streeter is the senior producer. Hanna Olson is the series producer. Sabin Streeter and Krista Whetstone are directors.